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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

You know that flagship £12billion NHS IT system that didn't work? - It still doesn't work, four years later...

NHS IT system 'at a standstill'
Article in the Telegraph


"Ministers want the computer programme, one of the largest in the world, to eventually contain the medical records of every patient in the country.

But NHS bosses in London have decided to halt the roll-out of the electronic care records to hospitals indefinitely, to sort out technical problems.

Across the south of the country no new hospitals are due to start implementing the system, because the NHS is still trying a replacement to Fujitsu, the Japanese computer giant, which pulled out of a contract to provide the programme earlier this year.

Problems have dogged the ambitious project, which is already four years late, from the start.

Last month NHS bosses attempted to resolve a damaging row over the confidentiality of medical records by agreeing that patients would have to "opt in" rather than "opt out" of the system, as had been originally planned.

In recent month managers at the Royal Free Hospital Trust in London have struggled with technical problems with the new software, prompting NHS London to call an indefinite halt to the project.

The organisation had hoped to introduce the system to three new hospital trusts in London by the end of this year, bringing the total number in the capital to seven, but those plans have now been shelved.

A spokesman for NHS London said: "Because of the general problems and in particular the problems at the Royal Free we have decided to stop any further roll out in other London trusts until these have been sorted out."